REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0510.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID19; RNA replication; protein structure; infectious disease
Online: 29 April 2020 (12:52:18 CEST)
COVID19 is a current pandemic disease due to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The scientific community mounted a strong response by accelerating research and innovation, and rapidly setting the basis to the understanding of molecular determinants of the disease for the development of targeted therapeutic interventions. The replication of the viral genome within the infected cells is a key step of SARS-CoV2 life cycle. It is a complex process involving the action of several viral and host proteins in order to perform RNA polymerization, proofreading and final capping. This review provides an update of structural and functional data on key actors of the replicatory machinery of SARS-CoV-2, filling the gaps in the current availability of structural data using homology modelling. Moreover, learning from similar viruses, we collect literature data to reconstruct the pattern of interactions among protein actors of the SARS-CoV-2 RNA polymerase machinery. In this pattern, an important role is played by co-factors, like Nsp8 and Nsp10, not only as allosteric activators but also as molecular connectors holding the entire machinery together to enhance the efficiency of RNA replication.